For Dr. House, a sitting president is like any other patient, with rights to privacy of their medical information protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In Reagan’s case, he chose to release the information of his hearing loss to the press.
Explore This IssueDecember 2008
Not commenting on whether the electorate has the right to know about the health of a sitting president or candidate, or the responsibilities of a president or candidate to share this information, he emphasized that how much information is released is up to the patient.
History highlights that some fundamentals do not change. The pact between physician and patient to guard patient privacy is essential. The right of patients to privacy is sacrosanct. Less clear is the responsibility of a leader or leader-to-be to divulge information that may affect the actions and thinking of the public he or she serves.
©2008 The Triological Society